Create a Staycation Destination
Staycations aren’t a new idea, but when staying home became mandatory I started getting more calls from people looking for an alternative to travel. Even if a new pool or spa currently falls into your “do later” category, we all need something to look forward to. Planning how to make your home better for the future is a good way to keep spirits up.
Designs in water can bring a favorite place home
I got a call recently from a woman who wanted to talk about planning a new pool. Like many folks who love to travel, she and her husband are postponing travel plans until we get through this terrible pandemic. After canceling their big family trip, she said they decided to put the unspent travel dollars into funding a pool for stay-home vacations.
I’ll share in this article a few design ideas that can help you think about what makes a home feel like a destination. If you haven’t already seen it, you’ll also want to follow my series of articles on designing with water and space. You can find the first in the series here.
Design themes for your staycation WaterSpace
You can apply these water oriented staycation themes to any project, big or small. If you have the space and budget for it, consider the ultimate in home WaterSpaces with pool, spa, and all the creative special features now available. With sufficient planning you can also make creative use of space and water to fit smaller areas and budgets. When you create the right setting, your small pool or hot tub becomes even more pleasurable.
The traveler’s staycation
What’s your favorite place to visit in the United States or abroad? You can incorporate the feel of a region or country that especially appeals to you. In creating your own outdoor space, think about the local colors, the architecture, the furnishings and materials in the places you love to visit. Even the arrangement of objects and space at that special destination can provide inspiration.
You might consider a mashup of compatible or contrasting elements from different regions or countries. Take for example, Mid-Century art and furnishings. Things like “Danish Modern” designs harken back to the 1960s and 70s love of things Scandinavian, from teak and rosewood tables to Saabs and Volvos. You can mix Mid-Century designs with other periods in what designers call a Transitional style.
The resort staycation
When a resort is at the center of your most memorable vacation, you may start thinking about bringing the resort experience home. When I get a resort staycation call, I ask what was special about the pool or spa area that they want to duplicate at home. The answers are as different as the people going to resorts. Here are some of the features most frequently mentioned.
Favored settings range from formal gardens to natural or rustic environments. Some like natural materials and curved edges while others want urban modern with sleek surfaces and straight edges. The most ambitions projects include special water features such as falls, fountains, a flowing “river” or a water grotto.
For some the focus is on family experience, others focus on exercise, social gatherings, a peaceful retreat, or romance. In-pool and poolside features add fun and games for kids of all ages. A swim up bar is a top poolside feature for adults. A waterslide is most popular with kids. Lap swimming appeals more to adults. In many cases the family pool needs to accommodate a combination of uses.
Those who want more in-water action may opt to equip the pool with a powerful water jet that creates a current. These can range from an easy-flowing lazy river effect to a strong current that you can swim against. These water jets have long been the first choice for home swimmers who only have room for a small pool. It’s an especially popular feature for athletes who need to train at home. Those with large pools are using water jets to paddle kayaks against the current.
A spa by the pool is popular with everyone. I’m seeing more owners adding a second in-suite private patio pool, hot tub or plunge pool like what they experienced at a resort. Outdoor art such as mosaics, sculpture, and dramatic night lighting are among the resort features people want to bring home. I also see more homeowners creating a space for formal waterside dining, part of a growing trend toward the merging of indoor and outdoor living.
The Waterside Experience
You can make your poolside space a place for sharing all sorts of experiences: fun, pleasure, action, relaxation, and don’t forget the view. Often being near the water is as great an attraction as being in it. Sometimes just looking at the water from inside brings more pleasure home.
More planning help
Those who designed your favorite resort have years of experience and lots of training in both the art and the engineering that created the magic. The sooner you find someone compatible who can help guide you and execute your plans, the better the results.
You can find more information here on our resources page, I especially recommend the WaterShape University’s professional network. Also consider the Association of Professional Landscape Designers and the American Institute of architects. Or just go here to ask me a question.